How your hobbies can help you retire early

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The one thing (good) thing people have taken out from the pandemic is figuring out a hobby and building on it. What’s better is that they haven’t stopped at just having fun with the hobby but taken it to the level of making small businesses out of it. 

Two years ago my friend enjoyed baking, now she runs an Instagram page where she sells giant, personal-pizza sized cookies. She tries new recipes every week and takes in customisation requests. She’s also figured out how to ship them across cities and runs a really fun business. There are so many ways to build wealth for your retirement, and the honest fact is that some ways are just a tad bit more difficult…or not fun. Sure, if you love looking into different investment plans and tracking how you’ll beat inflation, good for you. But doing something that makes you relax and makes you some money sounds like a pretty great deal to me.

With people in their first jobs thinking about retirement and planning on quitting the 9-5 life early on in their lives, it isn’t unusual to think about the ways we can get in that extra money to make retirement better. 

Wondering how your hobby could be just that? Read on.

Get. That. Bread 

With social media booming and letting you sell what you want, as you want to, monetising your hobby isn’t too difficult. All you have to do is know who your audience is, where they go on the internet, and start selling to them. 

I know that some of you might not be the biggest fans of monetising a hobby because, well, hobbies are supposed to de-stress you and when money is added to this mix it can be quite stressful. But monetising something you enjoy and are decent at can go a long way in your retirement goals. It opens up another income stream for you to use to save and invest and build wealth. 

Get investing 

To add to the previous point, if you’re able to make even 10-15% of your monthly salary through your hobbies each month, it gives you a great boost towards that retirement fund. With the extra cash, you have the choice of looking into riskier investment options as well. With crypto and NFTs creating a buzz right now, you never know what you will hit or miss. Having some extra cash can always open the doors for you to experiment with investment options. On the contrary, you could even increase your monthly input in long term investments with the extra cash. Whatever floats your boat, you know?

Re-evaluate retirement 

What’s truly fascinating is how wildly the concept of retirement has changed over the last few years. Fresh graduates are already thinking about how early they can retire and people in their thirties are sure they don’t want to keep working till their 60s. 

Large paychecks are great, but it’s possible to retire well and retire early with the right financial planning. Before you plan on increasing income streams and making more money, think about what you want to do with that money. I know thinking twenty years down the line is super difficult when you don’t know what you’re doing in twenty days, but try to roughly map a path to retirement, when you want to retire, and what you want to do post-retirement. 

Don’t stop that hobby

If you do plan on retiring early, or just retiring even, it’s great to keep your hobby going. Imagine starting a small business out of your hobby in your twenties and still being able to do it well years later. Sounds great, right?

Not only will this keep you relaxed post-retirement, but it’ll add to the income you generate then. It’s great to build some passive income streams through renting, investing, stocks, and more. Add the hobby money you can actively make to this, and it should sail your retirement smoothly. 

Let your hobby go passive

Now that we’re talking about passive income, how does churning your hobby into something that can give you royalties sound? Keeping up with your hobby at all times can get exhausting, sometimes we don’t have the time and sometimes monetising it takes the fun away. A good way to deal with this complexity is to try to generate passive income from your hobbies.

Like gardening? Maybe take some time out to write a book about it, or try to pitch an idea about an app for the same. Like to read? Review books for publications and loop in royalties. Of course, this is easier said than done and it isn’t possible for all hobbies. But try to see how your hobby can add money to your account with lower long term effort. Maybe it can become a consistent stream of income for you. 

Sometimes you just have to YOLO and hobby away.

Trust me, no one wants their hobbies to turn into another boring job. The way I see it, the trick to monetising your hobbies is knowing when to stop. 

Your hobbies contributing to your retirement sounds like a great idea, but it can easily go downhill if you set high standards about the money you’re going to make through your hobbies and work towards it. You don’t want the fact that you weren’t able to make your target amount, or people not being appreciative of your hobby, to become another stressor. 

Set realistic goals for yourself and go easy on yourself in those months you weren’t able to match them. Remember, this is your hobby, it’s supposed to relax you, not work the other way.

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